Marriage / Family Therapist Salary
Marriage & Family Therapists in the United States pull down an average of $46K annually. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Women account for the majority of Marriage & Family Therapists who took the survey — 85 percent to be exact. Most Marriage & Family Therapists like their work and job satisfaction is high. While some workers in this profession — somewhere between a fifth and a fourth — do not have any health coverage, a strong majority do receive medical benefits and more than half have dental insurance. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Marriage / Family Therapist
The duty of a marriage/family therapist is to counsel individuals and treat patients. The individual would counsel couples and families regarding a wide range of possible psychological issues relating to their personal relationships.Read More...
There is a broad scope of issues the therapist may encounter while counseling couples and families, including depression, substance abuse, psychological issues, infidelity, and low self-esteem. The therapist will need to work closely with other individuals as part of a mental health team.
The marriage/family therapist must asses each person's individual needs, gather information, and suggest possible treatments. A marriage/family therapist would work with a wide array of patients, from children and adolescents to teens and adults. Many of these patients will suffer from some form of mental illness.
It is required that a marriage/family therapist hold a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. One or two years of experience may also be required. Most facilities will require the individual to have a license to practice marriage and family therapy in their state. The therapist must have excellent English skills, and many facilities require a background and drug test since the therapist will be responsible for providing psychological advice and treatment to patients. A marriage/family therapist must keep track of and maintain case files and records.
Some basic requirements expected of a marriage/family therapist include a professional demeanor, proficiency in MS word, the ability to lift light objects up to 10 pounds, and typing skills.
The working hours of this job could be between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m, but is often a standard 9 a.m.-to-5 p.m. job.
Marriage / Family Therapist Tasks
- Facilitate and lead group and education sessions.
- Provide individual, couple, family and group therapy.
- Develop and implement individualized treatment plans addressing family relationship problems.
- Assess, diagnose and counsel individuals, couples and families.
- Manage caseload and documentation.
Common Career Paths for Marriage / Family Therapist
Many Marriage & Family Therapists advance their careers by becoming Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, who report a slightly higher median income of $53K. Licensed Clinical Social Workers or Clinical Supervisors are common next-step roles for Marriage & Family Therapists moving up in their careers; annual pay for Licensed Clinical Social Workers is $5K higher on average, and it's $6K higher for Clinical Supervisors.
Marriage / Family Therapist Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Marriage / Family Therapist
Survey results imply that Marriage & Family Therapists put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Group Therapy, Clinical Psychology, Spanish Language, and Emergency/Trauma are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 7 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Case Management. Those educated in Case Management tend to be well versed in Clinical Psychology.
Pay by Experience Level for Marriage / Family Therapist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Marriage & Family Therapists generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $45K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $50K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $59K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $70K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
San Francisco is home to an above-average pay rate for Marriage & Family Therapists, 27 percent higher than the national average. Marriage & Family Therapists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+14 percent), Honolulu (+10 percent), Portland (+9 percent), and Philadelphia (+4 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Marriage & Family Therapists in Pittsburgh earning a whopping 27 percent below the national average. Workers in Denver and Chicago earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (20 percent less and 16 percent less, respectively).